Sunday, April 17, 2011

doesn't jenner just love a bargain

its true i do love a bargain.  i have bored seth on many occasion going over the detail of my recent shopping trip and how much i saved.  but up until this point i have not jumped on the coupon band wagon.  that's not to say that i don't use the occasional coupon, because i do.  but generally it just seems like a lot of work for not that much savings.  and i don't really come across all that many coupons for things i really use.
up until trader joe's came to town, i hardly ever purchase or eat frozen meals; seth and i strive to eat as little processed foods as possible; and i really love me some natural home and beauty products.  so i thought that sort of ruled out any value for coupons for me. 
before i go on, don't worry, this is not going to become a couponing blog.  i think that people who coupon within the realm of healthy are pretty cool and i will go to their blogs for tips and tricks of getting great deals.  i have also recently realized that there is a large proportion of people who are not couponing within the realm of healthy, i.e. the crazies on extreme couponing.  and some of these folks even commit coupon fraud!  up until a week ago i didn't even know there was such a thing.
what i want to briefly share with you are some good sites i have found to get some info on couponing.  there are, in fact, a lot of coupons for organic and natural products out there.  but there are still some big draw backs to these.  one is that often the best place to find these coupons is on the company's website and they make you give them your name and email before you can actually download the coupon.  two, is that a lot of the products are still processed foods.  they may be organic but they are still processed.
so check out these websites/blogs and coupon to your hearts content.  i'm gonna try to save a little here and there but you won't find me buying 100 butterfingers or 200 rolls of paper towel anytime soon (actually occurrences on extreme couponing).

whole foods has great coupons and you don't need to give them your email address.
i think the woman who writes healthy life deals is a kindred spirit. i mean she loves whole foods, trader joe's, and target.  she has a great section on how to "stack coupons" at whole foods.
speaking of target, they have online coupons and mobile coupons.
organic deals is also a good blog, especially their section on coupon databases.
if you can figure out how to down load mambo sprouts coupon printer thing (i haven't) you can find some good deals here.
i also like your green helper, for more than just coupons.

all the kids are doing it

guest blog post by seth eli goldstein:
if you are a culinary nerd you have heard about the food truck craze.  food trucks have become hugely popular in cities like LA, new york, and even boston (this week's tv diner was devoted to boston food trucks).  sadly, there are no food trucks in portland, yet...  however, with the recent opening of gogi you can feel like a trendy LA hipster while munching on korean/mexican fusion.
gogi (653 congress street) is in a space right next to local sprouts on congress.  i admired the black painted tin ceiling on walking into the restaurant.  i was hungry on this particular friday afternoon so i went for the proverbial "it."  one pulled pork taco, one beef short rib taco, and an order of fried dumplings, whose filling i cannot remember.  my food was ready in two shakes of a lambs tail and at $3/taco and $6/order of dumplings, a great value.
the tacos were wrapped in a single corn tortilla and topped w/ lettuce, cilantro, bean sprouts, and thin slices of radish and cucumber, with a wedge of lime on the side.  both variations were super tasty.  of the two, i enjoyed the pork more.
the dumplings were wonderfully fried and crispy and came with a vinegary soy dipping sauce that i could have consumed as a beverage.
my only complaint about the whole meal is that i had a taco "blow out."  you know what i mean, right?  all the taco stuffs busted through the tortilla, forcing me to rely on my fork to finish.  if gogi doubled up on the tortilla, like a traditional mexican street taco, they could reduce the risk of such blow outs.
given the affordability and uniqueness of gogi in portland, i think this establishment is a great addition to the portland food scene.  what is really cool is that gogi is open late night so if you need some korean/mexican fusion at 1 am, and who of us hasn't, you have a great option.
here is an article from the portland daily sun on gogi for a little more back ground.

Monday, April 11, 2011

pub style

burgers are one of those foods we have ALL eaten a lot of.  when you think america fare, you think burgers.  we have all had thousands of good burgers and hopefully quite a few great burgers.  but when you really think about it, probably not that many horrible burgers.  that's because burgers are such a simple thing that you really have to go out of your way to fuck up a burger. 
on our 3rd round of burger-o-rama, these are the things i am thinking about.  its strange too, because unlike the year of mediocre thai food i recently endured, average burgers don't bother me so much.  there is something soul satisfying about even the most mediocre burger.
so with that i start the review of my burger experience at the down town lounge.  i am an overall fan of this place.  at this point in my life you will not find me here late night, but seth and i are known visit on a random weekday evening enjoying their lengthy happy hour.  everyday from 5-7pm dtl has drink and food specials, all food on the board is 1/2 price.  its also generally a good place for burgers as that is what makes up their entire regular menu -- from a classic single patty burger to a greek gyro burger with fish, chicken, and veggie in between.  seth is a fan of their big mac, whose description brings you back to the 1980s commercials when "2 beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame bun" sung to your belly.
on this weeknight i was on call for work so the only beverage i indulged in was a cola.  we started w/ boneless buffalo wings which were pretty delicious though also a little disgusting.  and like so many buffalo incarnations, no hot enough.  they were very crunchy and the blue cheese was very chunky so overall they get a thumbs up for greasy fatty bar food.  they were also half off so even if they were a little disgusting, how much can i really complain.  and they were only gross in that 'i can't believe how much i am enjoying this nastely little fried snack' sort of way.
i contemplated getting the most basic of burgers so i could really judge the burger and not the toppings.  but then i realized that dtl is not the place you go for your 100% angus beef burger cooked to a perfect pink medium rare.  these burgers are all cooked to a gray well done and its not one of those burgers where you really want to taste the meat (of note, this was one of my problems with my burger at david's.  as good as the bacon was, i think they should let the beef shine on its own).  so i went for the burger special: a bacon, swiss, mushroom burger w/ lettuce, tomato, and chipolte mayo and fries.  as it was on the board, it was about $4.
this was a good, satisfying burger.  everything really tasted great together.  i was a little concerned the mushrooms would be canned but they were fresh and very tasty but i do wish there was more. they were all sort of crowded in the center (another side note: until i moved to the east coast i didn't know that canned mushrooms existed.  then i worked at this dive-y bar in boston and that was all they served.  i even discussed this with a friend of mine, who is also from california, and her only response was: "they can mushrooms?"  i think we all can agree mushrooms really should not be canned.).  the chipolte mayo needs more kick.
seth got the haddock burger to start his research for another survey piece.  he thought it was very good but the piece of haddock could have been larger and he had the same complaint about the chipolte mayo.
i rarely meet a fried potato i don't like but i was pleasantly surprised by dtl's fries.  in a place like this i usually expect to find frozen fries.  but these appeared to be hand cut!  they were very good but i do think they are filling the heinz ketchup bottles with an inferior ketchup product.
so this was a good burger experience.  i think the price played a roll in my review.  at $4 i am more forgiving then at $12.  when i go to dtl i have lower expectations and so they are usually met.  if i am at a finer establishment with a higher price point i expect more.  again i will say, its hard to fuck up a burger and so i think if you need a burger fix with a beer and you only got a few bucks in your pocket, dtl will do the trick.

Monday, April 4, 2011

lazy mo fo and chinese food

if i was a good blogger i would have posted about the article my very significant other had published in the bollard as soon as the paper hit the news stands in march.  instead the entire month passed by and i didn't post anything.  so here it is, april and a new bollard will be hitting the stands soon and i am only now telling you about the amazing piece on all-you-can-eat chinese buffets my husband wrote.
my devoted following knows i am not a good blogger.  what can i say?  i am lazy and that is a big part of it.  there are multiple things each day that occur and i think to myself: "random people want to know this pointless thing about me."  but i don't write about it.  also i have a job in which i spend the whole day on the computer without any real down time to fuck off and surf the web or write a blog post (a slow morning has provided me with a free lunch to post this entry). 
so i can say i am vowing to write more about food and mundane occurrings in my life.  but i probably won't.  and you probably don't really care either way.
in any event, check out the online version of seth's article: from super great to super soggy.